Keeping your kanji learning speed along with a full time job and master's

Personal Experience Here

I have been so busy for the past 3 months or so due to work and master’s, and last semester on top of everything, my thesis and other classes I take included, but at the same time I did not want my personal/professional life to delay my Japanese learning. Well, it sure does no matter how you look at it, but at least I can keep up with my Kanji learning with what I came up with. Well probably someone long before thought of this, but I’ve never come across this mentioned anywhere so I’m gonna share it.

Basically, I set actually threw my Genki II aside and relied only on Anki and Wanikani to not to forget what I learned grammar-wise and go on learning new kanjis further.

I will not go into my Anki schedule so Wanikani tip here I go!

Basically, I only did kanji and never touched any vocab lessons unless I had to, to complete the batch.

Although right now I have this much of reviews and lessons piled up, I still make progress on my kanji.


I would not recommend making the lessons and reviews a big problem, at least in my case, because the majority of them are waiting to be either mastered or enlightened. And also doing 700 reviews in a single day does not seem like an undoable thing. The pride is worth it.

Meanwhile focusing on kanji only will help you learn them much better than splitting your mind on vocab and being overwhelmed by other reviews + amount of APPRENTICE vocab+kanji.

I used Lesson ordering and review ordering scripts to review and learn only radicals and kanji.

Levelled up 10 levels in almost 3 months and a week.

Going pretty stable now in comparison with the time I wasted a month and even more than two months on a single level.

Now, for many people this might sound like a stupid or dumb idea or simply fooling yourself, but I just want to shout out to people in my situation and let them know that it’s all a phase and you will pull yourself together and do all those vocab lessons and everything just like you planned and will get back on track sooner than expected. Don’t lose your hope and stay true to your vision. You’ll ace this shit!


I understand only two well the constraints of job/life versus Japanese studying! I know a lot of people here use the reorder script and focus more on kanji while leaving the associated vocabulary a bit behind.

For me personally, that wouldn’t work. I recall the kanji so much better if I actually learned a real word in which the kanji is used. Reading simple material also helps me a lot to activate what I have learned and there again I encounter vocabulary, not isolated kanji. In the end, I prefer to go slower but study all the vocabulary as foreseen.k


Thanks for sharing. .
Good luck.

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I admire your ambition but I would also like to say, it’s okay to go a little slower. You don’t have to keep up your leveling speed if you’ve got other things going on. Many people here have experienced burnout after pushing too hard and getting overwhelmed with vocab lessons that they put off. If you get burned out at some point it usually leads to abandoning Wanikani all together or having to reset back a few levels.

I’d advise you to stop learning new kanji and work on the things that you’ve got piled up. Those vocab lessons are there for a reason, they help you to put the kanji you’ve learned in a meaningful context. Right now you’re just trying to cram meaningless info into your brain as fast as you can but can you actually read anything in Japanese? My guess is no because for that you at least need some vocab. If your goal is to learn Japanese leveling speed is not actually important! What is important is that you actually know and apply what you learn :slight_smile:.


I’m thinking the same.^
The most important thing is to learn Japanese and it’s not about how fast you level up. I personally find it extremely helpful that I learn some vocabulary with the kanjis. I feel that if I learned only kanjis, it’d be too overwhelming to learn all the vocabulary at some point. The vocabulary helps with reading alongside kanjis. I’m busy with life too, so if I don’t have that much time for Wanikani, I’ll do a few reviews and don’t sweat it.


Sure that would be much better but considering the fact that if I don’t do kanji I’ll forget even those that I knew, at least this is better than nothing… I guess :disappointed_relieved::smile:

Of course, it’s great if it works for you😊! I agree, the most important thing is to keep doing something, even under time constraints.


But you can stop learning new ones at least. If you want to keep from forgetting what you know just focus on reviews :slight_smile:


I agree with you, learning in context is much better and that’s totally what I would like to do once I’m done with my school, but for now I guess I’ll stick to kanji. Plus I already pre-learn lessons in ANKI so once I’m done with thesis and stuff cramming my way through the vocab won’t be that big of a problem I guess :slight_smile:

but now that I think of it you might actually be right too. I guess I’ll go through 10 or 20 vocab lesson a day so I’m on track and also strengthening learned kanji in context


Thank :heart: you :heart: tons :heart:

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I admire your progress speed, especially considering working full time and doing a Master’s at the same time. I was in the same position, before I started learning Kanji for real.

One thing I’d like to highlight with regards to Kanji in WaniKani though is, that if you only do Kanji and Radicals, you may leave out a fair bit of common readings that are taught in vocabulary, mostly the Kun’yomi (at least from what I understand how WK works, please correct if I’m wrong!)


Thanks for your encouragement, I appreciate it a lot! :heart:
you are absolutely right! In fact the only reason I chose to go this way for a few tough months is because I did not want to completely give up kanji learning while I’m busy with other things. I’m planning to do all of them once I’m done with masters tho!

This has been done in the past–people used scripts to only do kanji in their lessons and let their vocab queue pile up. Many of them came to regret it, so be careful, but if it works for you, great! Don’t let your tools get in the way of your learning. :slight_smile:

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I totally understand! I have an 8-month-old daughter in the house, and she takes up lots of time. I’ve done lessons with one hand while holding a bottle with the other.

She is the first priority, and that means sometimes, I have to put down the phone and concentrate on her… even when there are reviews left to do. This is very good for me. It’s a great reminder that I can let a self-imposed deadline pass, and the world will not explode. Learning a language is a marathon, not a sprint!


and to every lovely :revolving_hearts: people I got advice from about focusing on reviews rather than jumping to new classesCapture

did 700+ reviews in a day and planning to finish all tomorrow inshAllah and thank you everyone for opinions, it was great help on deciding what to do next :blue_heart:

I’ll update once I’m done with all those classes and reviews in the boxes :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


Ah yes, I remember once I did like 1500 reviews in one day (not in one sitting). Really exhausting, but also satisfying at the end of it.

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I’m away from home 50+ hours a week, including my hour-each-way commute, so I FEEL THIS. I was a Japanese minor in college, didn’t study a thing for like 3 years and then found WK and oh my goodness do I adore it. I will forever be a devoted servant of the Crabigator :durtle_love: :crabigator: I love how everyone has their own process, and we unite over our learning! Anywho…

I agree with @Voleuse, too-- I genuinely do not care about my speed in leveling up, and am happy to take my time; it is much more important that my memorization is whole. That would be my only worry when it comes to passing over vocab lessons, using scripts to group or skip items, etc. I try not to let my reviews pile over 250, and I like to keep Apprentice queue below 100 if I can. I also do lessons in batches. Yes, my average level up speed is like 14 days or something like that, but my recall speed /accuracy is a thousand times better than it was when I was in school.

Truthfully though, I haven’t yet messed with scripts. I sometimes wonder how many people are doing WK entirely in its default mode, vocab and all, and if that will last for me (we need a poll for this, if there isn’t one already). IDK, I guess I just feel like I need the vocab to make it “applicable n’ stickable.” I remember certain kanji readings better and faster because of the vocab words I see so often that use them. I love that interlocking part of WK’s kanji and vocab system. And I also love to see others making progress with their own learning styles :slight_smile: Huzzah!


I think the vocab is extremely important – just as much as the kanji. But the OP did say that she uses Anki, so maybe she gets her vocab words from that.

Scripts can be fun to customize the experience a bit or to give you more information or learning tools, but the default is fine too. I wouldn’t be lost without the scripts I use, but I do enjoy and appreciate them.

I use the reorder script to pair meanings with readings because I was persuaded that doing so increases retention. Also sometimes I want to just do the radicals or the kanji in a review or lesson because I’m short on time but don’t wish to delay leveling up.

I do however finish all my available lessons ASAP (like within a few hours) because I so far haven’t felt overwhelmed (I’d feel more overwhelmed by having lessons left undone). I might get a few wrong on the first or second review, but with vocab words it doesn’t really matter. I work harder on getting radicals and kanji right the first time.


1500 reviews… that’s a lot. I don’t think I can handle that much in a single day let alone a single sitting but other than that exactly, the joy is wroth it!

@Sezme, thank you for noticing that yes I don’t feel comfortable w/o getting prepared with ANKI first

Also this is exactly why I utilize the reorder scripts, not for cheating and leveling up but just saving time and progressing at a constant speed

Gladly you have not been overwhelmed so far by your progress but trust me sometimes things get really stuck especially when you are in your last semester and work does not give you a break. Metro/bus/cafeteria/breaks at university become your only solace to do the reviews sometimes :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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